The Girl Next Door (2004 film)

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The Girl Next Door
A blonde woman in a red top and low cut pants. In the distance a young man is looking out the at her window.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLuke Greenfield
Screenplay by
Story byDavid T. Wagner
Brent Goldberg
Produced byHarry Gittes
Charles Gordon
Marc Sternberg
Starring
CinematographyJamie Anderson
Edited byMark Livolsi
Music byPaul Haslinger
Production
companies
Regency Enterprises
New Regency
Daybreak
Epsilon Motion Pictures
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • April 9, 2004 (2004-04-09)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$20–25 million[2][3][4]
Box office$30.4 million[5]

The Girl Next Door is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Luke Greenfield. It follows a high school senior who falls in love for the first time with the girl next door, but finds the situation becoming complicated after he learns that she is a former pornographic actress. It stars Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant, James Remar, Chris Marquette, and Paul Dano. The film received mixed reviews and low theatrical attendance at the time,[1] but over time has gained cult film status.[1][6][7][8]

Plot[edit]

Ambitious high school senior Matthew Kidman has been accepted to Georgetown University, but cannot afford the tuition. As class president, he has raised $25,000 in order to bring a brilliant Cambodian student, Samnang, to study in the United States, but otherwise has found little else memorable about his high school experience. His friends, perverted film student Eli, and shy and awkward Klitz, rebuff his displeasure with their lack of risky behavior. His life suddenly changes when a young woman, Danielle, moves in next door. When Matthew witnesses her undressing, she sees him and storms over. Introducing herself to his parents, they suggest to Matthew that he show Danielle around town. During the car ride, Danielle coerces him into taking his clothes off and forces him to run naked down the street.

Matthew and Danielle bond through a series of flirtatious dares. At a raucous party thrown by a classmate, Matthew finally finds the courage to kiss Danielle. The following day, Matthew's reverie is shattered when Eli informs him that Danielle is a former adult film actress.

On Eli's advice, Matthew takes Danielle to a motel and treats her coolly. Danielle, insulted, abruptly ends their relationship. Matthew attempts to apologize, but Danielle decides to return to the adult industry. Matthew, Eli, and Klitz go to an adult film convention in Las Vegas where Kelly, an adult film producer and Danielle's ex-boyfriend, menacingly warns Matthew not to interfere with his business. Matthew ignores him, convincing Danielle to leave her past behind.

Days later, an enraged Kelly abducts Matthew from school and physically assaults him, saying that he cost him $30,000. Kelly offers to let Matthew erase his debt by stealing an award from his former partner, Hugo Posh. Once Matthew enters the house, Kelly calls the police and leaves. Matthew narrowly escapes and rushes to an important scholarship award dinner. High on ecstasy that Kelly tricked him into taking, he improvises a sentimental speech. Although he endears himself to Danielle, he does not win the scholarship.

Kelly exacts further revenge by posing as Matthew's student advisor and stealing the money raised for Samnang. Matthew fears that he will be implicated in the fraud. He turns to Danielle for help, and she calls Hugo Posh; they agree to make a pornographic film on prom night with Danielle's former colleagues and Matthew's classmates as actors. Eli directs the production, and when no-one is able to perform an important scene, Klitz finds the confidence to undertake it. They celebrate the successful shoot; Matthew and Danielle have sex for the first time.

The next morning, Eli calls Matthew, informing him that the tape has been stolen. Matthew enters his house to find Kelly, in possession of the tape, talking with his parents and principal. Kelly demands Matthew's half of the eventual profits. When Matthew refuses, Kelly plays the tape for the group, who are surprised to find that Matthew and his friends have made a modern sexual education film.

Hugo Posh and Matthew make millions, and Posh pays for Samnang's trip. Eli becomes a successful filmmaker, Klitz attends college and is pleased to learn that his classmates revel at his scene in the film, and Matthew attends Georgetown, bringing Danielle with him.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $14,589,444 in the US, plus $15,821,739 outside the US, for a combined gross of $30,411,183.[5]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 56% approval rating based on reviews from 159 reviews, with an average rating of 5.60/10. The site's consensus reads: "The movie borrows heavily from Risky Business, though Hirsch and Cuthbert are appealing leads."[9] At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average average score of 47 based on 32 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B+" on scale of A to F.[11]

Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter called it a "Sharp, vivacious comedy."[12] Desson Thomson of The Washington Post called it "An entertaining affair whose wild-card creativity never ceases to surprise."[13] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave it a B- grade and wrote: "Risky Business had a great opening act and then descended into contrivances. This genial cardboard knockoff is contrived from the start but gets better as it goes along."[14]

Joe Leydon of Variety gave it a mixed review, criticizing it for being "recycled" comparing it to Risky Business, American Pie, and 1980s Brat Pack romances, and calling the script "shamelessly derivative". He describes the lead actors as "attractive but bland" but praised the supporting cast, especially the " scene-stealing turn" by Olyphant.[15][16] A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that the film "[o]ffers a view of pornography that is nonjudgmental, even celebratory, but at the same time its premise – that Danielle must be rescued from the shame and degradation of her old job – suggests a more traditional, disapproving point of view. Instead of addressing this contradiction, the movie is happy to wallow in it, which would be fine if it had any real pleasure to offer."[17] Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars out of 4, describing it as a "nasty piece of business" and faulted the studio for marketing the film as a teen comedy.[18]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Your Parents Didn't Want You to See The Girl Next Door Nominated [citation needed]
2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss Elisha Cuthbert and Emile Hirsch Nominated [19]
Best Breakthrough Performance Elisha Cuthbert Nominated [19]

Soundtrack listing[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rosen, Christopher (October 29, 2014). "The Juice Was Worth The Squeeze: Looking Back On 'The Girl Next Door'". The Huffington Post.
  2. ^ "The Girl Next Door | PowerGrid". Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Girl Next Door (2004): Destroyed by Poor Marketing". New Regency fully financed The Girl Next Door for $21 million and Fox distributed the film in most markets.
  4. ^ "The Girl Next Door (2004) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  5. ^ a b "The Girl Next Door (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  6. ^ Jesse Carp (July 31, 2012). "Girl Next Door Writer-Director Luke Greenfield Sets up Two New Features". CinemaBlend. The writer-director should be best known for his underrated 2004 cult hit The Girl Next Door, starring Elisha Cuthbert
  7. ^ "Luke Greenfield to Direct Comedy Half-Brothers for Focus Features". Collider. May 7, 2019.
  8. ^ John McDermott (May 17, 2017). "The Internet Killed the Teen Sex Comedy". MelMagazine.com. The Girl Next Door (2004) is something of a cult classic now, but it failed to make its money back in theaters.
  9. ^ "The Girl Next Door (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  10. ^ "The Girl Next Door". Metacritic. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "GIRL NEXT DOOR, THE (2004) B+". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  12. ^ Linden, Sheri (February 23, 2004). "The Girl Next Door". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 7, 2004.
  13. ^ Thomson, Desson (April 9, 2004). "'The Girl Next Door': Bodies and Brains". Washington Post.
  14. ^ Owen Gleiberman (April 7, 2004). "The Girl Next Door". Entertainment Weekly.
  15. ^ Leydon, Joe (February 22, 2004). "The Girl Next Door". Variety.
  16. ^ Keith Phipps (June 4, 2004). "The Girl Next Door". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on November 15, 2019.
  17. ^ Scott, A. O. (April 9, 2004). "FILM REVIEW; The Perfect Girl, Except for the Résumé". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015.
  18. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 9, 2004). "The Girl Next Door". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 1, 2022 – via RogerEbert.com.
  19. ^ a b Cosgrove, Ben (May 4, 2005). "Vicious Teens And Happy Drunk Lead 2005 MTV Movie Awards Nominees". MTV News. Retrieved February 27, 2016.

External links[edit]